Alice In Absentia
You are not here.
by Ellen Devilliers
Your smile, your laughter, gentle humour,
No longer greet our mornings,
Susan Small has packed her case and gone.
You are not here,
Where children grow without your blessing
Lives are made and broken,
Shaped and honed without your hand,
No decision, no consultation
We live, tant bien que mal.
The early train left and took you with it,
Not waiting for consent of those who stayed,
And I, a traveller in time, return
To find new lives, new loves, old loves.
You did not ask to leave.
There was still a lot to do, to be done,
Love to be given, advice to be sought,
Joy to be shared,
Precious moments for a serene old age
Which was not for you.
I walk past your house,
The walls are a different colour,
Inhabited by others, but look, Alice,
On the lawn are children’s windmills,
Winking and turning gaily in the sun.